Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 12 - Jan. 2002
D-18DC (David Crosby)
In the history of rock and roll, few musicians have remained as passionate and vital as David Crosby. Twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (with the Byrds in 1991 and with Crosby, Stills and Nash in 1997), he continues to push the envelope and take creative risks. Indeed, his songwriting and singing are better than ever, a remarkable accomplishment for someone already a music legend.
David Crosby has played Martin guitars throughout his storied career, most notably a D-45 from the late 1960s that served as his stage guitar for years. Yet when approached by Martin regarding a Signature Edition to bear his name, Crosby asked the Company to base the model on his first Martin, a D-18 that he acquired during the early 1960s. He played this guitar during his tenure with the Byrds and in the early days of Crosby, Still and Nash, and eventually converted it into a 12-string (partly because Martin didn’t make 12-strings back then). Martin is pleased to honor his request with the D-18DC David Crosby Signature Edition.
The D-18DC David Crosby Signature Edition combines rare and beautiful solid tonewoods for exceptional sound. The back and sides are crafted from exquisite quilted genuine mahogany, among the scarcest and most prized woods in the world. A top of bookmatched Engelmann spruce adds impressive complexity and dynamics. Hand-scalloped 5/16" X-bracing, forward shifted to 1" from the soundhole in the style of classic Martin Dreadnoughts from the 1930s and early 1940s contributes deep, focused tone. Carved from genuine mahogany, the neck has a modified "V" shape, satin finish and moderate width - 1 11/16" at the nut – for playing comfort.
Appointments on the D-18DC are elegant and understated. The body features four layers of black/white purfling on the top and two on the back, accented by tortoise-colored top binding, back binding, heelcap, and endpiece. These elements are matched by a handsome polished and beveled tortoise-colored pickguard.
In contrast, the headstock and rosette showcase some uniquely sumptuous touches. Squared and tapered, the solid headstock is fitted with vintage-style nickel Waverly tuners (with butterbean knobs) and overlaid with polished black African ebony. The familiar "C.F. Martin" gold foil logo arches above a schooner inlaid in pearl, a depiction of the boat Crosby has sailed for more than 30 years. The rosette features a vivid blue paua shell inlay that shines against the richly colored vintage toner top.
Both the fingerboard and bridge are made from black African ebony. Abalone dot position markers on the fingerboard lead to David Crosby’s signature, inlaid between the 19th and 20th fret. Black bridge and end pins are topped with pearl. A bone nut and compensated bone drop-in saddle enhance the superb tone. The body of the D-18DC is finished entirely in polished gloss nitrocellulose lacquer.
David Crosby’s preferences for his namesake Martin result from a lifetime making music. A native Californian, he began singing and playing professionally as a teenager. After honing his act for three years, he joined forces with Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke to form the Byrds, among the most popular and exciting American bands of the 1960s.
After leaving the Byrds in 1967, Crosby produced singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell’s first album. In 1968, he joined forces with Stephen Stills from Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash from the Hollies to create Crosby, Stills and Nash. With soaring harmonies and great songs, the group produced several classic albums over the next ten years, including "Crosby, Stills and Nash" and "Déjà Vu."
Although Crosby continued to record and tour during the next 15 years, drug abuse and hard living took their toll. He spent a year in prison on a weapon’s conviction in 1985. A motorcycle accident put him out of commission for a time. Hepatitis and drug damage eventually caused his liver to fail, with a transplant the only hope for a normal life.
Crosby got his transplant in 1995 and returned to music as if reborn. With guitarist Jeff Pevar and pianist James Raymond, he formed CPR, which has recorded four superb albums, including the recently released "Just Like Gravity." Crosby, Stills and Nash released "Looking Forward" in 1999. He now tours with both bands. He also wrote a book on the social impact of music, Stand and Be Counted, published in 2000.
Delivered in a Geib™ style hardshell case, each Martin D-18DC Signature Edition will bear an interior label personally signed by David Crosby and Martin Chairman and CEO C. F. Martin IV, and numbered in sequence with the edition total. (i.e. 1 of 250, 2 of 250, etc.)
Due to the rarity of Quilted Mahogany, the edition will be limited to no more than 250 special instruments. Orders are being accepted for the D-18DC David Crosby Signature Edition guitars immediately, though the models will not begin to appear in stores until the summer of 2002. After March 18, 2002, the names of participating Martin dealers and distributors will be posted on the Martin website at: www.martinguitar.com .
At David Crosby’s request, a portion of the proceeds from these instruments will be donated to Doctors Without Borders, a non-profit organization that delivers medical relief to those endangered by war, civil strife, epidemics and natural disasters.